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Religious diversity in America part 1 & 2 2 - 2016

These are the two parts of the lecture on religion. It covers the topics of religious freedom and religious diversityin America : Protestantism and catholicism, as well as the non christian faiths with a specific focus on Judaism and Islam.

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Religious diversity in America part 1 & 2 2 - 2016

  1. 1. A Religious Nation • Nine Americans out of 10 say they believe in god • Bible remains the American best seller: about 9 million copies each year.
  2. 2. No Official Religion
  3. 3. No Official Religion • The Constitution prohibits the establishment of a national religion and protects citizens’ right to choose their own religion. • The separation between Church and State prevents the government from favoring one religion or denomination at the expense of another. Religious freedom is guaranteed.
  4. 4. Decentralized structure • Apart from the Roman Catholic & the Episcopalian churches, American churches have no central authority. • No church hierarchy for Protestants • Church members organize in an assembly and choose their own minister. • Churches of first settlers split into denominations resulting in many types of Protestantism.
  5. 5. Religious diversity • Religious diversity made possible by history and size of the country : if one group dissented or was the victim of religious intolerance, it simply moved elsewhere and founded its own church. • Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism. (1,500 religious affiliations)
  6. 6. The American paradox: ‘neutral’ State, but religious Nation • Separation of State and Religion But • American society filled with religion & Americans constantly mention God. • The Pilgrim Fathers had a mission: create a model society, in America considered as the new Promised Land.
  7. 7. Replica of the Mayflower Puritans landing, 1620
  8. 8. • Americans see themselves as the Elect, chosen by God to create a unique model of society, based on a high moral code, austere, work ethic, predestination. • The Influence of religion is visible everywhere:
  9. 9. “In God We Trust” is engraved on American currency
  10. 10. •The National motto is “One Nation Under God”
  11. 11. Each American President swears his Oath of Office on the Bible
  12. 12. Religion is often a stepping stone to political careers many of whom were preachers: M L King Jr & Malcom X
  13. 13. 1962, compulsory prayer in public schools forbidden Prayer used to be compulsory in school until the School Prayer decision in 1962.
  14. 14. Religion, Class and Race • Religious diversity highlights social and racial differences. • Blacks and whites attend different churches. • Among protestants, Episcopalians are regarded as the “élite” denomination, while Baptists and Methodists less wealthy. • Roman Catholics were working class (low- income Irish members). • Now Mainstream Churches middle or upper class • More radical churches appeal to the poor.
  15. 15. Religious Affiliation of American Presidents
  16. 16. Religious diversity II Non Christian faith Pew Research C 2010
  17. 17. Judaism
  18. 18. Judaism • 2% of American population. • First Jews came from Spain and Portugal, then from Eastern Europe: Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Austria • Most Jewish immigration to the United States occurred from 1890-1924. The primary reason for Jews immigrating to the US was for religious freedom • Were subject to discrimination and to hate crimes (kkk)
  19. 19. Education • Jewish immigrants took great pride in education. • They wanted their children to have better jobs than their parents had when they came to the US. • Most took advantage of the education system to climb up the social ladder.
  20. 20. Integration • integrated well to their Wasp counterparts • About 50% marry with non-Jews. • American Jews play influential political and cultural role through their organizations.
  21. 21. Profile of American Jews Jews General average Jobs in management, business 59% 46% professional/technical positions 41% 30% Average Household income $50,000 $42,000
  22. 22. Jews and the Media • Seven Jewish Americans Control Most US Media • They namely control ABC, NBC, CBS, the Turner Broadcasting System, CNN, MTV, Universal Studios, MCA Records Universal Records….
  23. 23. AMERICAN JEWS 70% attached to Israel 57% never been to Israel 44% building settlements hurts Israel’s security 40% believe god gave Israel to Jewish people
  24. 24. Today, the survival of Israel is one of their major preoccupations.
  25. 25. They raise about 300M $ annually to support Israel.
  26. 26. Islam
  27. 27. Muslims represent less than 1% of the American population today. Islam is the fastest growing religion. Islam in America
  28. 28. ISLAM IN THE UNITED STATES •Most Muslims immigrants from Muslim countries. •24% of African Americans converted to Islam from Christianity. Many slaves originally from Muslim Africa. •Appeal of Islam for African-Americans is part of a quest for their lost roots. US Department of State 2014
  29. 29. Facts about Islam • They're better educated than most Americans • U.S. Muslims have the second-highest level of education among major religious groups in the country; Jews have the highest. • And a greater proportion of them have college degrees than the general U.S. population.
  30. 30. Gender • They have more gender equality • 90% agree that women should be able to work outside the home. • American Muslim women hold more college or postgraduate degrees than Muslim men. • More likely to work in professional fields than women from most other U.S. religious groups.
  31. 31. History • They've been here since the birth of the nation .. • When Columbus made his journey to the US, it is said he took with him a book written by Portuguese Muslims who had navigated their way to the New World in the 12th century. • Others claim Muslims, most notably a man named Istafan, accompanied the Spanish as guide to the New World in the early 16th century. • About a quarter to a third of the Africans brought to the United States as slaves were Muslims. Most were then forced to convert to Christianity.
  32. 32. Patterns of settlement • .. and they're not just clustered in big cities • American Muslims live in cities big and small all across the United States. The first mosque built in America was in Ross, North Dakota, back in 1929.
  33. 33. Religious Practice • They're as religious as Christians ... • Most Muslims are very religious. • About half say they attend the weekly Friday prayers. • But that makes them similar to Christians: About 70% of Christians say religion is important in their lives, and about 45% go to a weekly service.
  34. 34. 2008
  35. 35. Nation of Islam
  36. 36. 2008
  37. 37. Image of Islam & Muslims • Islam suffers from a poor image in the United States further reinforced by the Word Trade Center bombing in 1993 and the September 11th attacks of the Twin Towers. • Hate crimes against Muslims and South East Asians such as the Sikhs (mistakenly) went up in the months that followed 9/11. • Often associated with terrorism, fanaticism and anti-Semitism, Islam is widely misunderstood and considered by many Americans with distrust.
  38. 38. Hate Crimes Figures FBI data 2014
  39. 39. Hate Crime incidents against muslims
  40. 40. FBI Database Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Soil by Group, From 1980 to 2005
  41. 41. • Trump’s controversial statements…
  42. 42. Obama’s reply When politicians insult Muslims, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid bullied, that doesn’t make us safer. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world. And it betrays who we are as a country.
  43. 43. To a crowd of Jewish people on Israel
  44. 44. • Israeli media saw his comments as reinforcing anti-Semitic stereotyping of Jews as rich people who “control the world” and can “buy” elections with their money

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  • rihabat

    Mar. 6, 2017
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    Jun. 8, 2020

These are the two parts of the lecture on religion. It covers the topics of religious freedom and religious diversityin America : Protestantism and catholicism, as well as the non christian faiths with a specific focus on Judaism and Islam.


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